Photo by Alan Tobey / iStock Photo
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Arrive:||Belize City, Belize|
|Lodging:||2 nights in lodge|
|Meals:||Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)|
|Activity:||Wildlife & Natural History, Walking, Archaeology|
Cultural explorations and walking tours, optional nature hikes, mountain biking, canoeing
Visa RequirementsA visa is not required for U.S. citizens visting Belize or Guatemala.
Our Trips using this Extension
Belize and Tikal Private Journey
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
In the lush forests of Belize, with The Lodge at Chaa Creek as your base, choose from a myriad of outdoor adventures. At the end of each day, relax in your private palm-thatched casita under the lush canopy of the rainforest.
Days 1-4 follow the Belize & Tikal Private Journey Itinerary.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Morning transfer from Turneffe Island Lodge to Belize City. You are met at the dock for a 90-minute drive through the countryside to The Lodge at Chaa Creek, an enchanting 330-acre private reserve in forested foothills. On your first day at the lodge, choose one of the half-day activities. This afternoon, explore the grounds of this lovely property or pamper yourself with an optional massage from the spa. Half-day activities at Chaa Creek are guided. Overnight at Chaa Creek...BD
Sample Half-day Activities:
Canoeing: Head downstream on the pristine Macal River as it flows from its headwaters in the Maya Mountains to the Caribbean, and paddle and explore with a professional naturalist guide. The verdant banks of the Macal are home to numerous species of tropical birds as well as giant green iguanas.
Naturalist Hike: Walk with a naturalist on Chaa Creek’s picturesque trail network that leads through a 345-acre forest reserve.
Horseback Riding: Ride the trails of the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve through sub-tropical broadleaf forest past ancient Maya sites.
Mountain Biking: Join a specially trained naturalist guide to experience the sights and sounds of the tropical jungle. Chaa Creek’s trail system provides enjoyable cycling for riders of all experience levels.
Creatures of the Night: This popular guided walk brings you into the exotic tropical night, with fireflies dancing through the trees and nature’s orchestra providing a concert. Special headlamps are provided.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek
On your second day, choose one of the full-day tours. Full-day activities at Chaa Creek are guided, with the exception of the Caves Branch River Expedition. Overnight at Chaa Creek...BLD
Sample Full-Day Activities:
Xunantunich: Across the crystalline waters of the Mopan River is Xunantunich, the largest Maya ceremonial center in the Belize River Valley. The hilltop location provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding country. There are temples to climb with a fantastic view of the area, and you enjoy a ride over to the ruin on a hand-cranked ferry.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave: The ATM Cave is home to the famous “Crystal Maiden,” the intact skeleton of a young female that, due to a covering of calcium carbonate, sparkles eerily in the lamp light. The Actun Tunichil Muknal adventure begins with an hour and 15-minute drive, then a 45-minute hike with three stream crossings to arrive at Actun Camp for lunch. The ATM cave is a wet cave—to enter it, you swim into the mouth and then wade through ankle- to chest-high water before climbing to a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall. From here, another climb takes you to the cave where the Crystal Maiden lies. For this option, you need to be able to swim and scramble along rocky trails. You should have a reasonable level of fitness.
El Pilar: Explore the largest Classical Maya site in the Belize River Valley, with its courtyards, plazas, and ceremonial center.
Caves Branch River Expedition (at extra cost): Combine river cave tubing and cave exploration on this adventure amid spectacular five-million-year-old crystal formations that cast eerie shadows into the black abyss. Massive cathedral-size chambers with walls of river sculpted rock dwarf us as we pass on foot and inner tube. Relics, principally in the form of shards of pottery, are very common.
Caracol (at extra cost): Caracol is the largest known Maya center in Belize with giant temples rising above miles of the Chiquibul Rain Forest. As a bonus you can often see professional archaeologists at work here.
Tikal / La Lancha or Tikal Jungle Lodge
The morning is free at Chaa Creek. After lunch, transfer to your accommodation near Tikal.
Days 8-9 follow the Belize & Tikal Private Journey Itinerary (Days 6-7).
Prices are for 2014
2 nights, 3 days$975 per person, double occupancy
3 nights, 4 days$1375 per person, double occupancy
Caves Branch River Expedition: $95 per person
Caracol: $110 per person
All costs subject to changemore on pricing
Extension Cost Includes:
- Cottage Collection rooms at Chaa Creek (room upgrades are available)
- Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Half-day guided activities
- Full-day guided activities
- Transfer to and from lodge
Extension Cost Does Not Include:Gratuities for local guides, meals not specified (BLD), and items of a personal nature. Optional Activities at Extra Cost: Caves Branch River Expedition, $85 per person; Caracol, $100 per person
The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Chaa Creek, Belize
Chaa Creek, set on a 365-acre private reserve along the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, features 23 palm-thatched cottages, or casitas, each with tile floors, ceiling fans, large mahogany beds, and private bathrooms with hot and cold showers. The lodge offers fresh Caribbean, Mexican, and Belizean dishes, savored in an open-air thatched dining room. Enjoy a guided early morning birding tour along the well marked forest trails, rent canoes to explore along a peaceful river, enjoy numerous nearby Mayan ruins and caves, or pamper yourself with a massage from the spa. The lodge has won numerous awards including the Condé Nast Traveler Ecotourism Award, the World’s Best Awards from Travel & Leisure readers, and, most recently, was named one of the best environmentally friendly hotels in the world by CNN Traveller.
Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.